Thursday December 20, 2012

NEW YORK -- CBS had little competition for dominance last week in the television ratings.

The network had 17 of the 25 most-watched programs on the air last week, according to the Nielsen company. It beat second-place NBC by an average of nearly four million viewers a night last week, and also took the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that advertisers seek.

"60 Minutes" and "NCIS" were the most popular shows on CBS last week. As is typical in the fall, NBC’s Sunday night football matchup was the week’s most-watched show.

One end-of-year tradition, Barbara Walters’ survey of the year’s most popular personalities, finished No. 27 in the week’s ratings with 7.6 million viewers.

On cable, Showtime’s "Dexter" and "Homeland" both hit series records for their season finale episodes on Sunday. "Dexter" had 2.8 million viewers and "Homeland" had 2.3 million. Showtime preceded each episode with a disclaimer, warning that audiences might find the shows too intense so soon after the Connecticut school killings.

CBS averaged 11.9 million viewers for the week in prime time. NBC had 7.3 million, ABC had 5.1 million, Fox had 4.4 million.

NBC’s "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.4 million viewers. ABC’s "World News" was second with 8.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.2 million viewers.

Nielsen’s top programs for Dec. 10-16 (viewership in millions):

1. NFL Football: San Francisco at New England (NBC), 23.2.

2. "60 Minutes" (CBS), 19.6.

3. "NCIS" (CBS), 17.6.

4. "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS), 16.7.

5. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS), 15.1.

6. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick" (NBC), 14.6.

7. "Person of Interest" (CBS), 14.0.

8. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS), 13.3.

9. "The Voice" (Monday) (NBC), 12.3.

10. "Criminal Minds" (CBS), 12.0.

11. "The Voice" (Tuesday) (NBC), 11.5.

12. "Survivor: Philippines" (Sunday) (CBS), 11.4.

13. "2 Broke Girls" (CBS), 11.0.

14. "Modern Family" (ABC), 10.9.

15. "2 Broke Girls" (Monday, 9:30 p.m.) (CBS), 10.7.

16. "Football Night in America" (NBC), 10.47.

17. "Elementary" (CBS), 10.46.

18. "Survivor: Philippines" (CBS), 10.37.

19. "Vegas" (CBS), 10.33.

20. "Hawaii Five-0" (CBS), 9.8.

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NEW YORK -- Twitter and the TV ratings firm Nielsen are joining forces to create a way to measure TV-related conversation on the micro-blogging site.

The companies say the new Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will be available at the start of the fall 2013 season.

This new service will be designed to complement Nielsen’s traditional TV ratings, giving TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to chart TV audience social activity. It’s the first-ever measurement of the total audience for social TV activity -- both those participating in the conversation and those who are exposed to it.

Increasingly, viewers discuss TV on Twitter, resulting in a new dynamic between audiences and programming. The companies say Twitter’s more than 140 million active users send 1 billion tweets every 21Ž2 days.